Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Facing the Future is a Seattle-based national educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to create tools for educators that challenge students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future. To accomplish this, we develop core subject and interdisciplinary curriculum that highly engages students, promotes critical thinking, motivates students to get involved in their communities, and introduces them to the complex global issues of our time. We also provide professional development for classroom teachers and consulting for schools and districts. Visit Our Approach to learn more about our work.
What types of resources does Facing the Future offer?
Facing the Future offers a wide variety of curriculum resources for use in K-12 classrooms. In some cases our curriculum is also appropriate for colleges of education, community college courses and undergraduate teaching. Our resources are designed to highly engage even the most reluctant learner, while at the same time introducing students to critical global issues and the skills required for success in the 21st Century. Facing the Future resources include both interdisciplinary and subject-specific materials.
Our resources include:
For what grade levels are Facing the Future resources designed?
Facing the Future materials are available for K-12 teachers, teachers in colleges of education, and for some community college and undergraduate classes. Browse our curriculum by grade level and subject in our online store or search for grade appropriate lessons with our curriculum finder.
Who uses Facing the Future resources and how do they use them?
In 2010 more than 1,600,000 students in every U.S. state and more than 120 countries benefited from Facing the Future curriculum, including virtually every subject area and grade level. Over three quarters of the educators using our curriculum teach in public schools. Facing the Future resources are also used in independent schools, home schooling, non-formal education, and college courses. Teachers use Facing the Future materials for anything from a one-day lesson to an entire course. Teachers integrate Facing the Future curricular resources into math, science, environmental science, ESL/ELL, literacy, and social studies courses. Read more about how educators use Facing the Future's curriculum resources.
Teachers who focus on teaching global sustainability issues can find a number of different and flexible ways to integrate these issues using Facing the Future resources.
In what ways does your curriculum align with educational standards?
Facing the Future curriculum resources correlate to standards in all fifty U.S. states, including Common Core Standards for states that have adopted them. Facing the Future curriculum is also aligned to state-specific resources and national standards. Standards alignments can be found on each individual curriculum page under the Educational Standards tab or by searching our standards database.
How does your curriculum engage students?
Facing the Future curriculum resources are designed to actively engage students by getting them out of their seats and involving them in critical thinking related to real world issues. In the course of a Facing the Future lesson, students may be required to collaborate in small groups, to choose and defend a position, and to consider how their lives connect to issues of global importance. In our latest survey of thousands of teachers around the country, 92% say that using Facing the Future curriculum resources increases student engagement in their classroom. Visit our Student Engagement and Achievement page to learn more about our survey results.
How does Facing the Future engage students in service learning and community action?
All of Facing the Future’s curriculum is developed with an eye towards increasing civic engagement by students. The curriculum materials include ideas for connecting classroom learning to community action. Facing the Future also provides easy-to-use databases for teachers or students to find organizations with which they can do community action projects. Additionally, a step-by-step teacher’s manual to implement service learning in the classroom is provided, as well as many examples of successful projects.
What is Facing the Future's bias?
While Facing the Future is a non-partisan organization, we promote systems thinking through positive, solutions-based programming. Facing the Future believes that many of the critical global issues affecting the world are interrelated, so we takes a systems approach in presenting them. Students are encouraged to think critically about these connections. The goal is to help students learn how to think, not what to think. Facing the Future materials are carefully referenced and include perspectives from across the political spectrum. As a result, Facing the Future’s materials are in use in a wide variety of classrooms in a wide variety of communities. Facing the Future also emphasizes personal engagement through service learning projects, so that students feel empowered to shape their future.
What kind of professional development do you offer?
Facing the Future offers a wide range of professional development opportunities for educators, schools, districts, and state departments of education, including workshops at education conferences, keynote and plenary presentations, in-services and consulting, online courses, and webinars. To learn more, visit our Professional Development page, Workshop Calendar, or contact us.
How does Facing the Future curriculum align with current educational research and best teaching practices?
All Facing the Future curriculum resources are developed for teachers, by teachers, with best teaching and learning practices in mind. Facing the Future pedagogy includes effective approaches to student learning, student engagement, and addressing the achievement gap. Facing the Future’s interdisciplinary curriculum is relevant, rigorous, and hands-on, using such frameworks as Understanding by Design, Multiple Intelligences, and service learning. The curriculum also promotes higher-order thinking through an emphasis on 21st century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, and global perspective.
What process does Facing the Future use to develop new curriculum?
Facing the Future employs a rigorous curriculum development process involving focus groups and personal interviews with educators to learn what would help them in their teaching. During development of a curriculum resource, regular feedback and review are solicited by educators from the focus area as well as Facing the Future’s Advisory Council and Program Committee, both of which include educators. All of Facing the Future’s resources are pilot-tested in a diverse set of classrooms including public and private schools, those in both low-income and more affluent communities, and mainstream, special needs and advanced classrooms as appropriate.
How can I learn more about Facing the Future and the resources that you offer?
How can I become more involved?